“This is Now Your Opportunity”
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
So, what’s next? It’s a logical question for most to ask once confirmation has taken place. What’s next? How do you move forward from here? How do you continue to grow in those qualities St. Paul lists for us? How do you grow in faith, in hope, in love?
The answer to this pressing question is found in the words of the verse you have selected for today, namely, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
While you are in this world your marching orders are clear; “let us do good.” But Where? And How? As a redeemed Child of God you have peace and mercy, “And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them.” Galatians 6:16
Of course, this is all gift through your Savior Jesus Christ. You can and will do good. As God’s child you are now active in love at the place and in that opportunity that God give you in your daily calling. God gives you opportunities for His glory.
King Solomon teaches, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
If you want your work to be blessed by God, the first thing you must do is start working enthusiastically.
Enthusiasm is not based on how fun your job is or how much it pays; it's based on why you do what you do. In fact, the word enthusiasm comes from the Greek words ‘en Theos’ which mean "in God." There you have it; in all that you do the LORD is at the core. In all you do it’s centered in God.
Your attitude determines your joy. Let’s face it; a lousy job is still a lousy job! But it's even worse when you complain about it. "The diligent find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work" Proverbs 12:24. It's all in your attitude.
You can't succeed in life until you change your attitude about the work you are doing right now. Romans 12:11 says, "Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically." (NLT). Why? Because the LORD is central to your work. He’s your silent partner; an ever present yet unseen guest in your work. So serve him enthusiastically.
Already, the LORD has bestowed to you talents, gifts and abilities, to be used in loving service to your neighbor. Already you have discovered some of the talents the LORD has given you. Continue to cultivate them. Explore those areas in your life where your talents flow from the Creator who sustains your life.
The life of a Christian is to love the LORD and serve your neighbor in love. “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
In all the service that you do — not just on this day but over the course of your life — remember that the key ingredients are both grace and love.
In love your Savior entered time and space to seek and to save. The coming of Jesus into our world changes everything. For we do not have a God who was too proud to know His people. Or, a God content to rule from a great distance. Or, a God whose majesty was too awesome for us to behold. We have just the opposite. Jesus, the son of Mary experienced the very same humanity, the very same problems, and the very same challenges that we do also the same joys and blessings.
No, you do not walk this road alone. Jesus is the God who came down from heaven. He was that man. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. –Isaiah 53:3-5
The challenges you face remind us that we are living in a broken world outside of Eden. We live in a world filled with disappointment, wounds and loss. But we do not despair; we do not lose hope. Rather we are encouraged by the Savior who has said; “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”- John 16:33
Remember, God is completely responsible for your salvation from front to back! We don’t one-day simply wake up and decide to follow Jesus – Rather, He plants the seed of faith in our heart. He then nourishes that faith by giving us His eternal Word, which is able to make us wise unto salvation.
This is what St. Paul reminds us when he tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Pay attention to the clear words, and the gentle voice of your Good Shepherd Jesus who says, “All that which the Father gives me shall come unto me; and he that comes to me I will in no wise cast out”. John 6:37
It all comes down to the Savior’s amazing grace. And Grace is karma's worst nightmare: we get the exact opposite of what we deserve. Grace is found in the God who loves us all; who loved us even unto death, even death on a cross.
Relying on Jesus to guide you through this life by the rod and staff of your Good Shepherd’s holy Word, you might begin to discover the impact, the influence; you do have, now once and for all joined to Him. That, as part of His kingdom; as a lamb of His flock, a sheep of His fold, one of His own redeeming; each day you live in this vale of tears, He yet still lives, breaths, and cares for those in your life through everything you do: “Blessed are they…says the LORD…and their works do follow them.”
Your works do follow you? Yes, your works though they may be forgotten, misunderstood, remembered no more by man, you never are by Him. Never to fade away, never to die, your memory, and everything about you, is now as eternal as He is.
Your’ doing good does not have to be anything special or exceptionally; your faithfulness in your family, your work in your neighborhood in your school and country within this parish wherever and whenever the Lord gives you the opportunity is always good. That’s what the Father declared each day of creation; “and it was good!” And by grace, through faith, He looks at you and determines that the work you do is good!
To be sure, you start with those close to you; family, friends, your church. But you will want to share Christ’s love, your gifts with all people.
Bloom where you’re planted. Share Christ in all you do. Gossip the Gospel and let your light shine. By this you will give glory to God as you serve Him faithfully and willingly. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.”
Your verse shall be your marching orders; today and each day of your life, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”Fare Thee well child of God. Godspeed and God Bless!